ESPNU Goes HD in Time for College Football Season on Aug. 28; More Than 70 Exclusive Games on Tap
Many Top Programs to Make Appearances
ESPNU will kick off its fourth season of presenting live college football games with the launch of its new high definition network, ESPNU HD, on Thursday, Aug. 28. The first ESPNU event to be televised in high definition will feature a college football matchup between the SEC’s Vanderbilt and the MAC’s Miami (Ohio) in prime time at 7:30 p.m. ET. The network will showcase more than 70 live college football games, with all of its Thursday and Saturday telecasts (LIVE only) available in HD.
In its first year, ESPNU HD is projected to air more than 200 HD events, including exclusive coverage of college football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, hockey and more. This will be the fourth HD service ESPN has launched amongst its family of networks.
On Monday, Aug. 11, the 24-hour college sports network will begin its college football studio coverage with seven preview shows featuring all six BCS conferences: BIG EAST (Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m.), Big 12 (Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m.), SEC (Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m.), Pac-10 (Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m.), Big Ten (Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m.), and the ACC (Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.), plus a one-hour show (Aug. 17 at 10 a.m.) highlighting all the other Division I schools and conferences. ESPNU anchors Lowell Galindo and Mike Gleason will alternate hosting the one-hour shows and will be joined by returning college football analysts Mike Gottfried and Tom Luginbill, as well as newcomers and former college (Nebraska) and NFL teammates (Carolina Panthers) Mike Minter and Mike Rucker.
ESPNU’s college football schedule will include appearances from Boston College, Connecticut, Florida State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Virginia and more. In 2007, the network aired 65 exclusive college football games featuring 11 top 25 ranked teams.
The network will average four live games weekly, featuring a selection of teams from top Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) conferences – the ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, MAC, along with games involving Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) programs from the Ivy League, MEAC, Ohio Valley, Southern and SWAC. For additional coverage, fans can visit ESPNU.com, the online college sports hub, for exclusive online video and audio content, as well as up-to-date news and information.
ESPNU will continue its prime-time Thursday matchups. Thursdays will be mainly dedicated to HBCU (Historically Black College/University) games from the MEAC or SWAC, starting with the MEAC’s Florida A&M at Delaware State on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
“This will be a special college football season at ESPNU as we enter a new frontier in high definition,” said Rosalyn Durant, vice president and general manager, ESPNU. “This year’s high-quality college football schedule will be augmented by the robust content offered on our studio shows and in-depth coverage on ESPNU.com.”
ESPNU’s studio coverage will include three weekly shows dedicated to college football and recruiting throughout the season, supplemented by the weekly highlights show, SportsCenterU. On Mondays beginning Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., ESPNU Inside The Polls will return, pairing second-year anchor Galindo with analysts Luginbill and Gottfried, who will give viewers the first in-depth look and breakdown of teams ranked in the college football polls. ESPNU Coaches Spotlight will air on Tuesdays starting Sept. 9 from 1–5 p.m., showcasing live coverage of college football news conferences from around the country. Rounding out the week will be ESPNU Recruiting Insider, a 30-minute show evaluating the top high school football recruits and their classes based on research and analysis provided by ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. The show will air primarily on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., but will first air Friday, Aug. 29, with Galindo hosting alongside ESPN Scouts, Inc. recruiting analyst Luginbill, regularly followed by a high school football game at 8 p.m.
ESPNU’s commentator roster will complement the network’s diverse schedule of games. Saturday’s coverage will begin at noon with Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) teaming up with analyst and former college football coach Larry Coker, while Doug Bell (play-by-play) will pair with analyst and former UCLA and NFL tight end Charles Arbuckle during the 3:30 p.m. telecast. At 7 p.m., Clay Matvick will serve as play-by play announcer, with analyst and former San Jose State and NFL offensive guard David Diaz-Infante. The final game will pair Dwayne Ballen (play-by-play) and former Alabama State and NFL linebacker Eddie Robinson Jr. (analyst) at 10:30 p.m. (tape-delay), which will generally feature a MEAC or SWAC matchup.
Thursday nights will feature a combination of Charlie Neal (play-by-play) and former Howard University and NFL quarterback Jay Walker (analyst) calling HBCU matchups. ESPNU will continue to integrate students both on air and behind the scenes during the college football season as it looks to expand its student-generated content initiative, ESPNU Campus Connection, which launched in August 2007.
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